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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my backup tenor out to play last night and ran up the horn chromatically... noticed there was no change from G to G#, figured the pad was stuck to the tone hole as happens but it wasn't.

Upon closer inspection, when I press the G# key the mechanism lifts as it should but the pad/key itself doesn't "spring" up strong/quickly as it should. It's weird. If I stand the horn straight up and down it works, sort of, but doesn't open really enough to properly vent/play the note.

I am guessing the spring needs to be bent or something to increase the tension? I messed with the spring a little bit and got it to where it was working well enough to get through practice last night. Any other ideas?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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It could also be a bent rod, bent hinge tube, out of alignment post, worn cork on interface plus a numerous amount of other things, you need to first identify that the key can fall closed under its own weight, that is disengage both springs and see if the key moves freely with little no no resistance
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It could also be a bent rod, bent hinge tube, out of alignment post, worn cork on interface plus a numerous amount of other things, you need to first identify that the key can fall closed under its own weight, that is disengage both springs and see if the key moves freely with little no no resistance
Yeah it absolutely moves freely under its own weight. The horn is not even a year old (I bought it new) and has been a backup for me so it has been used sparingly.
 

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Some G# keys are on a rod that is independent of the stack keys. If that is the case, remove the G# key and rod, clean the rod with a cloth dipped in key oil or valve oil, and clean the inside of the hinge tube with a cotton pipe cleaner. Then move the rod back and forth inside the hinge tube. It should move freely without catching even without oil. If it moves freely, that eliminates the possibility of a bent hinge tube or bent rod.

Next you can put the key back on the sax with a few drops of oil on the rod and tighten the rod snugly. If the un-springed key binds, unscrew the rod 1/2 turn. If this frees up the key, the post is out of alignment or turned slightly. At this point you can just leave the rod screw backed out 1/2 turn and it should work ok.

On the other hand, if the key still binds, take the rod completely out and feel how tightly the key fits between its posts. If it feels very tight or the key is difficult to install, the posts are binding the ends of the key. If this is the case, install the key and take a 3" or 4" long 1/4"-3/8" diameter wooden dowel and hold it at a 45 degree angle on the inside edge of the post. Give the dowel a smart tap with a small rawhide hammer or the handle of a screwdriver and check the key again. It usually takes just one "love tap" to free the binding key.

If none of the above applies, then your problem is just a spring that is set too weak. Carefully bend it the opposite direction till it lifts the key fully without the key bouncing at the top of its travel. Be careful not to over strengthen the spring since a careful balance must be maintained between the spring on the G# lever that closes the key, and the spring that opens the key when the lever is raised.

The OP responded while I was typing my essay so . . . . . file away the above information for future use since it does not apply in this instance. [rolleyes]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some G# keys are on a rod that is independent of the stack keys. If that is the case, remove the G# key and rod, clean the rod with a cloth dipped in key oil or valve oil, and clean the inside of the hinge tube with a cotton pipe cleaner. Then move the rod back and forth inside the hinge tube. It should move freely without catching even without oil. If it moves freely, that eliminates the possibility of a bent hinge tube or bent rod.

Next you can put the key back on the sax with a few drops of oil on the rod and tighten the rod snugly. If the un-springed key binds, unscrew the rod 1/2 turn. If this frees up the key, the post is out of alignment or turned slightly. At this point you can just leave the rod screw backed out 1/2 turn and it should work ok.

On the other hand, if the key still binds, take the rod completely out and feel how tightly the key fits between its posts. If it feels very tight or the key is difficult to install, the posts are binding the ends of the key. If this is the case, install the key and take a 3" or 4" long 1/4"-3/8" diameter wooden dowel and hold it at a 45 degree angle on the inside edge of the post. Give the dowel a smart tap with a small rawhide hammer or the handle of a screwdriver and check the key again. It usually takes just one "love tap" to free the binding key.

If none of the above applies, then your problem is just a spring that is set too weak. Carefully bend it the opposite direction till it lifts the key fully without the key bouncing at the top of its travel. Be careful not to over strengthen the spring since a careful balance must be maintained between the spring on the G# lever that closes the key, and the spring that opens the key when the lever is raised.

The OP responded while I was typing my essay so . . . . . file away the above information for future use since it does not apply in this instance. [rolleyes]
Hey it's appreciated! Had it been anything more than a spring I would've taken it to my tech for sure, very glad it sounds like that won't be necessary ;)
 
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